Tuesday, December 27, 2016

More about the Lizzie Borden movie

I understand filming wrapped before the holidays in Savannah, Georgia, and that the film is to be released "sometime in 2017." I for one cannot wait. Just the idea of sitting in a movie theater watching the trailer gets me all excited!

A few fun things to add: looking at a map of Fall River, Massachusetts (where the Borden murders took place), I saw that one of the streets leading to the cemetery where Lizzie and her family are buried is called Sevigny Street. Coincidence?? I've heard Chloe Sevigny--who plays Lizzie--has an interest/fascination in the story. Is it because relatives of hers lived in Fall River?

This photograph of Chloe sitting on the sofa (not the original, but very close to it visually) where Andrew Borden died can be found on the wall of the gift shop at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast. Whaaa....t? You didn't know the murder house is actually a themed B&B? It is. I stayed there last summer in the attic bedroom of Bridget Sullivan--the character whose point of view I chose for my novel The Murderer's Maid, coming out in October 2017--and will blog about that in detail later.

This picture of the movie set came from Twitter (#Lizziethemovie), and you can see how very closely the set conforms to the actual room. Or actually, maybe you can't because the photos are taken from two different angles. EPIPHANY: Okay, actually as I'm blogging, I'm realizing this MUST be a picture from the actual home, because in the distance you see faucets on the sink. That wouldn't be the case with a period set, but is indeed the case with the true house, because after the murders a series of real people lived in it and ate in it and required modern appliances.

Okay, this one I know for SURE is the movie set, because it bears no resemblance to the actual house in Fall River.

Here's the actual house in Fall River. What's interesting to me is that the movie house is far more grand, because the family's money (wealthy) and Lizzie's access to it (restricted) forms quite a bit of a murder motive. Lizzie desperately wanted to be successful in society, hold grand parties, entertain...but her father wouldn't let her, and the house was in a part of town looked down upon (literally) by fancier hills residents.

Next door even lived Irish people (shudder!), who were considered low-class at the time. After Andrew Borden's body was discovered, the Irish maid Bridget was sent to fetch Dr. Bowen across the street....because every clearly-mutilated corpse deserves to have its absent pulse noted....when he wasn't there, instead of getting Dr. Kelly who was right next door, Lizzie instead sent Bridget to get her friend. Why not Dr. Kelly? He was Irish. And why no police? Because she was guilty. ;)

Speaking of Bridget, she's played in the movie by Kristen Stewart. She's a fantastic choice, and I can't wait to hear if her Irish accent is an authentic brogue. Stewart is 26 years old, as was Bridget at the time of the murders. Kismet? Interestingly, I just reread a section of the trial transcripts where Bridget reveals she doesn't know when her birthday is. How strange that is...so much of our identity is wrapped up in our births and celebrating that day. Maybe I'll invent a birthday for Bridget and start celebrating it in some weird way.

Kristen Stewart on set as Bridget Sullivan, Lizzie's maid

Lizzie was 32 at the time of the murders, and Chloe is 42, but of course Lizzie didn't have access to wonderful aesthetician creams, so looks far older than lovely Chloe.

Let's see...I also saw a photograph of a seaside home on the Twitter page, which excited me because it looks like this movie is trying to cover the historically-accurate bases.

This could be a photo of the seaside cottage at Marion, a trip Lizzie was supposed to take with her girlfriends--and instead was at home on a hot August day when her father and stepmother were murdered. More likely, however, it's a picture of the Swansea home, where she and her family vacationed. It was a meaningful house sentimentally, but there is evidence that her father was about to sell it, putting it in her stepmother's name, just days before the murders. A previous example of Mr. Borden putting a home in his wife's name led to incredible angst within the household--so angsty that Lizzie stopped calling her stepmother "Mother," as she had done for nearly three decades, and instead called her Mrs. Borden until the time of her death. So: motive motive motive.  Kudos to the filmmakers for getting this right. I can't wait to read the script sometime.

And of course...watch the movie.

I'll continue to blog about Lizzie Borden and anything I hear about the movie in progress. Please follow my blog if you want more updates; see the sign-up in the right hand column when you scroll down. 

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